The Devil in the Details

by Satin Ragdoll

Spock Prime watched as the Enterprise made it's way out for it's first five year mission. His younger self would have his work cut out for him. It was going to be quite a journey.

A voice brought him sharply out of his reverie, "Well, there's the one person that's managed to screw the time-line over more than I have!"

A lone human male was leaning against a post, watching him. He had short, curly brown hair and his eyes were shining with good humor. Spock wasn't fooled. He had memories of this one, although the memories weren't his own. Out of all the entities in the Universe, this one he couldn't afford to trust. Neither could he afford to antagonize him.

"Am I correct in assuming that you are Q?"

He bowed with a flourish, "Correct as usual, Mr. Spock. Or should I call you Spock the Elder? Spock Prime? Hey, I like it!"

Spock sighed. He remembered from Picard's mind how difficult Q could be. He also remembered that when Q was acting happy, it was because he believed he had the upper hand. In other words, normal Q, making mischief. "Q, what is it that you want from me?"

Q frowned, "Aw, now you have to go sounding like Picard. What's the matter, Spock Prime? Don't you like me?"

Spock tilted his head, "I neither like you nor dislike you. However, I do not trust you."

Q sniffed, "Fine way to treat someone you just met. You have too many of Picard's memories running around in your head, Spock. I'm sorry, Spock Prime."

Spock just watched him.

"Anyway, Spock Prime, I wanted to meet you! You have me curious. There is a question I've been dying to ask you!"

Spock quirked a brow, "Then ask."

Q quirked a brow in return, "How much are you going to tell them?"

Spock was taken aback, "I do not understand."

Q flapped a hand towards where the ship used to be, "Your once-upon-a-time friends just took off for parts unknown. Unknown except to you. The time-line may be altered, but most of the nasty, nasty things you encountered are still there, Spock! Despite the changes, Jim's brother Sam still ended up on that planet that will have those parasites. Your younger self will still end up suffering, and then blind. Ouch! And how about saving all of those Horta children? A good word and they could be ready for Parmen, or the Kelvans, or Apollo...shall I go on?"

Spock Prime stood stock still. Q was right. He had been thinking of the time-line, but the time-line was gone! If he could give Kirk information, they would be much better prepared to meet many of the hazards awaiting them. There would be much less loss of life. He would just have to be...delicate...in the way he handled it. James T. Kirk, in any time-line, had quite an ego.

He met Q's eyes, "I believe I owe you a debt of thanks."

Q beamed. Nobody had ever told him thank you, before. Mostly they just told him to get lost. "Hey, I should be thanking you! Now I get to play around with Picard, again!" He frowned, "If they let me. Spoilsports."

Q straightened up, "Anyway, seeing as we're now friends, I have a present for you! I left it in your quarters. Good luck with that, you're going to need it! Ha, ha!"

Spock was alarmed. Any "gift" from Q tended to be a bit of a double-edged sword. "I assure you, sir, that is unneccessary!"

Q chuckled, "Nonsense! If I want to give you a gift, then I'm going to give you a gift!" He waggled his fingers at Spock, "Toodles!" and winked out.

Spock hurried to his quarters. He had no idea what was waiting for him there. When he saw what it was, he could only stand there, speechless.

A rumpled Christine Chapel, the one from his timeline, still in her prime, groaned and opened her eyes. "I just had the strangest dream. Do you mind telling me just what the heck is going on, Mr. Spock?"

Fin.